The 181-megawatt Geometric Power plant in the Osisioma Industrial Layout of Aba in Abia State will now be commissioned on Monday, February 26, 2024, according to a statement by the company’s management issued just now.

The plant was originally scheduled for inauguration on Saturday, February 24, by President Bola Tinubu.

The new date was chosen by The Presidency in Abuja due to what insider sources described as unexpected developments.

The president will commission the 188-MW thermal plant alongside Aba Power Ltd which will take electricity from the new plant and supply to nine of the 17 local governement areas in Abia State.

Reacting to the decision to postpone the long-awaited commissioning to Monday, an energy consultant in Lagos, Engineer Cliff Eneh who was a senior manager with the defunct National Electric Power of Nigeria (NEPA), after serving as a senior engineer with the Texa Power and Light Corporation in the United States, said this morning: “A 48-hour difference is not significant.

“We are proud of the support the Federal Governemnt has of late been giving to the Geometric Power integrated company, the only group in Nigeria that will generate and distribute its own power; other power firms either generate or distribute but do not get involved in both”.

Described as the biggest investment in the Southeast, Geometric Power has spent some $800 million dollars on its integrated power project, which includes building a 27-kilometre natural gas pipeline from Owaza in Ukwa west LGA in Abia State to the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba.

“We have, in addition, installed 150,000 kilometres of cables and wires and installed four new power substations as well as refurbished three others inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN”, explained Ben Caven, a former NEPA Executive Director famous for leading Transmission, Generation and Engineering Divisions simulatenously in the former state-owned power utility.

Caven is now the Managing Director of Geometric Power Ltd.

Patrick Umeh, a former executive with the Los Angeles Water and Light in the United States who later served as Commissioner in-charge of Markets, Market Rates and Competition at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), described the tibular poles mounted by Geometric Power in Aba and the environs as “incomparable in Africa.

“Only in cities like Tokyo and San Francisco in California you have facilities of this quality and sizes.

“Much as they are very tall, as all of us can see, the tubular poles here are actually about 10 meters deep.

“In other words, in the unlikely event of a natural disaster like earthquake in Aba or the environs, Aba Power and the Geometric Group will still be able to supply electricity to its numerous customers”.

The Geometric Power Group was founded by Professor Bart Nnaji, a globally respected academic engineer in the United States, who has been Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology and later Minister of Power.

Nnaji embarked on the integrated project after then World Bank President James Wolfensohn and then Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visited Aba on March 17, 2004, and discovered that the greatest challenge facing both large-scale and medium-scale industrialists in Aba, reputed to be the centre of indigenous manufacturing in Nigeria, is epileptic power supply.

Both Wolfensohn and Okonjo-Iweala appealed to Nnaji to assist with a power plant dedicated to Aba, following the 22MW Abuja Emergency Power Plant he led a team of Nigerian engineers to build in Abuja from 2000 to 2001 that supplied uninterrupted power to critical places like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Company, the Central Bank headquarters, the Aso Rock and the entire Central Business District of Abuja.

‘Electricity was rarely available in Aba”, noted Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo, President General of the 22,000-member Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPANDA), “and when it was available it was so poor that it couldn’t power your household appliances, let alone industrial machines”.

The inauguartion of the Geometric Power next Monday, according to Sir Alexander Maduakor, President of the Association of Aba Industrialists, “will mark a new dawn in the country, not just in Aba or Abia State”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *